Welcome to The LDS Organist Blog

The purpose of this blog is to help pianists learn to become true organists. Many individuals believe that if you play the piano you can play the organ, but the instruments differ greatly. While this blog is specifically geared towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, much of the information shared can be utilized by all. I hope that the information I share here will help you become an effective organist in your ward, stake, or other congregation.

Feel free to browse and search this blog. It was started in January 2010 and while new posts aren't added very often, this blog contains a wealth of information and is a wonderful resource for all organists. If you're a new reader, you can find the first lesson here: Before We Begin: Acquiring the Essentials. Also, please "like" the corresponding facebook page, which is updated more often. A link is provided on the right sidebar, or you can click here.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Organ Tour: The Great Stalacpipe Organ

While not a true organ, the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Luray, Virginia is the world's largest instrument. It covers 3 1/2 acres. The proper name for this type of instrument is lithophone, but it does have a console built by Klann Organ Supply of Waynesboro, Virginia.

Stalacpipe organ console
Photo Source

In the 1950's, Leland Sprinkle, a a mathematician and electronic engineer, designed and constructed this one-of-a-kind instrument, which utilizes 37 stalactites. Played by small rubber hammers, activated as gentle plungers, all but two of these stalactites required some sanding to bring them in tune.

Rubber hammer
Photo Source

This video explains more:


For more information, visit:
Luray Caverns
Atlas Obscura
365 Days Project


5/17/2010 Update: I contacted the Klann Organ Company, asking for the specifications of the console, and learned that the four manuals and drawknobs are mostly for show. Only one keyboard and the pedals play the organ. I also learned that they now use a MIDI device to play it for the tours that go through, but it is occasionally played by a live organist for special programs, such as weddings. Also, once in a while one of the stalactites breaks off, so they have to find another one that has the correct pitch and remount the striker, adjusting the pitch as necessary so that it will be in tune with the others.

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